Frodo was still shaking as he went to join the rest of the Fellowship. Moments before, Bilbo had suddenly jumped at him, trying to grab the Ring. Frodo was trying to calm his pounding heart when he bumped into someone. Looking up, he saw Elrond glance down at him with a serious expression. "In light of recent events, Frodo," the Elf told him gravely, "I believe that there is something you need before you set out on your Quest."
Several months later . . . At Amon Hen
Frodo backpedaled, and turned to run but was soon pulled down by the bigger man. His fierce face glared at him. "Give me the Ring!" Boromir snarled. "Give it to me."
Frodo protested feebly, trying in vain to keep the Ring within his hands. But the strong warrior was too much for the hobbit; soon the man had ripped the chain from Frodo's neck, and clasped the Ring in his hand.
Boromir stood up, glancing down at his prize. He seemed almost surprised to have it in his hands once again. He looked down at Frodo, who lay gasping among the leaves. "We'll see what course the Ranger thinks we should take now." With that he turned and walked back down the hill, toward the lawn at Parth Galen.
Fifteen minutes later . . . at Parth Galen
Sam frowned as Boromir strolled back into the camp. Now the man of Gondor was accounted for, but where was Frodo? He narrowed his eyes. "Have you seen Mr. Frodo?" he asked, quite suspicious.
Boromir had an expression on his face Sam had never seen before. If he didn't know any better, he would say Boromir had been up to some mischief. "It matters not," the warrior told them. "Frodo is no longer of any concern to this Quest."
Aragorn looked sternly at him, wondering at his words. "Pray tell, what do you mean by that?"
Boromir smiled. "I mean," he said deliberately, "that Frodo is no longer the Ringbearer of the Company." He held his hand up, and the Ring on its chain glistened in the afternoon sunlight.
The fellowship gasped. Sam's eyes widened. "What have you done to Mr. Frodo?" he cried.
The man shrugged. "Nothing." Then his gaze shifted to the edge of the lawn. The Company followed his gaze to see Frodo emerge from the trees, a bit breathless as if he had been running. Sam was overjoyed to see that the hobbit was alright, that Boromir had not done him any harm. Frodo, however, only looked at Aragorn. He placed his hand upon his chest and shook his head ever so slightly. If anyone had been watching the Ranger, they would have noticed his tense stance suddenly relax.
"The Ring is going to Minas Tirith," Boromir told them. "I suggest you all determine your paths from here."
The hobbits sat where they were, shocked at the sudden turn of events. Legolas and Gimli angrily stood up, and Aragorn began to advance on Boromir with a menacing gleam in his eye. "The Ring," he said through gritted teeth, "does not belong to you."
Boromir eyed him with alarm for a moment, then laughed. "What are you going to do about it?" Then suddenly he pulled the Ring off its broken chain and placed it on his finger.
The hobbits, the Elf, and the Dwarf gasped and stared in shock. "You see?" they heard Boromir call. "You don't have any choice!" Then with glee he began to run this way and that about the Company, dancing and singing. "You can't see me! Hah! Try and stop me! It belongs to me!" He ran in front of Aragorn, waving his hand in front of the Ranger's face, who for his part was looking this way and that. Boromir laughed with delight. "Hah! Gondor won't be needing a King!"
He continued to make faces at the Ranger, clearly delighting in the fact that the Ranger could not see him. But suddenly Aragorn's features became set, his eyes fixed on Boromir, and he threw a punch directly at his chin. Perfectly placed, the man of Gondor fell back with a graceless thud upon the leaves. He watched, a bit dazed, and in wonder as Aragorn stared down right at him, and then Frodo did, too.
"You see, Boromir," the Ranger said in a tone that Boromir couldn't quite decipher. Aragorn gestured to Frodo and the hobbit pulled something out of his pocket, something small and shiny. Boromir's eyes widened in confusion and dismay when he realized what it was.
"You see," Aragorn continued. "You fell for the *decoy* ring."
I think Frodo could have had a lot of fun if he'd carried around a few decoy rings. Boromir could have gotten his very own Ring, Gollum could have gotten one, too. All the hobbits could carry a ring to confuse Saruman. Hmm, why not just make a huge pile of fake Rings? It would take weeks for someone try them all on. Of course, Boromir and Gollum would have eventually figured it out that they had taken off with a decoy ring, but hopefully Frodo could have scampered away from them by then.
Of course, there is one major problem with this: Frodo would accidentally destroy the wrong Ring. Which would *not* be good. :) Hee hee!!
Frodo: [tosses Ring into Cracks of Doom] Well, Sam, the Quest is over.
Sam: Yeah . . . um, Mister Frodo, why has nothing happened?
Frodo: Hmm. Do you think--nah. [ponders for a few minutes while Mordor shows no sign of losing strength] Perhaps. Do you think?
Sam: That ring we let Gollum run off with in the Dead Marshes?
Frodo: Yeah. Perhaps that was the--
Sam: Real One Ring.
Frodo: Darn. Knew I should have tried it on first.
Sam: Let's get out of here.